Thanks for the great feedback many of you emailed in response to the ‘Could YOU be the next Roger Bannister?’ blog post from earlier this month. It seems that nearly all of you particularly enjoyed reading the FULL story about Dr. Bannister’s attempt to break the four-minute mile barrier – this gives me some great ideas for future content, starting with this latest post.
One of the things I really enjoy about my work with talented high-potential people, is coaching, cajoling (and sometimes kicking) them to take their first step outside their ‘comfort zone’.
You might recall a story that was doing the rounds a few years ago entitled ‘How To Boil a Bullfrog’. Basically, so the story went, scientists did a simple experiment using a bullfrog and before you ask, no, I don’t know why or even if it’s true, but bear with me! They threw the bullfrog into a pan of boiling water and the bullfrog instantly jumped out. Next they put the bullfrog into a pan of cold water. The bullfrog liked it and stayed in the pan. The scientists then turned on the heat at the bottom of the pan. As the water got warmer, the bullfrog relaxed and took a nap. The bullfrog was so relaxed and comfortable that it stayed in the pan and was ‘cooked’.
Regardless of the authenticity of the story, the salient point here is this. Many of us are just like the bullfrog, because we feel warm and comfortable, we refuse to get out of our ‘comfort zone’, preferring to stay where we are and consequently just like the bullfrog we get ‘cooked’ too!!
We have a nice house to go home to, a comfy bed to sleep on, food in the fridge, a group of friends to mingle with, one good holiday a year, a nice car to drive and so on. We have worked hard to get to where we are now. So why should we change?
The truth in life is we are either moving forwards or going backwards. There is no such thing as ‘staying where we are’, because there is always external movement, especially given the massive growth and impact of the new technologies which have quickly become embedded in our daily lives. It’s hard to imagine life today, here in the UK at least, without access to the internet, email or a mobile phone! So if we are not moving forward in life, we must by default, be moving in the opposite direction, i.e. backwards!
Let me ask you – When was the last time YOU learned a new skill or spent time expanding your subject knowledge bank? Why not take a few minutes this month and identify the ‘comfort zones’ in YOUR life. What one area of YOUR life would benefit from some focused, stretching personal development? Chances are if YOU want to be all that you can be, have all that YOU can have, achieve all that YOU can achieve, it will involve expanding your ‘comfort zone’. At the very least YOU can take action with the certainty that stepping into the unknown and feeling uncomfortable is the first step to moving in the ‘right direction’.
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One final thought came to me as I was watching BBC Breakfast News this morning, the world can be a gloomy place sometimes, especially if you believe all you see, hear and read in the media. I’m writing this blog as my meagre offering to counteract, in the smallest of ways, the media’s obsession with bad news!
So please feel free to share or forward my blog to friends, family and colleagues or any other like-minded individuals who you think would be also enjoy reading it!